Saturday, May 28, 2022


Publisher:System Sacom
Developer:System Sacom
Genre:Rail Shooter
Time:30 minutes

Evolution is just another FM Towns game by System Sacom, which is something I would normally gloss over, except I haven't explained what the FM Towns or System Sacom is before. System Sacom was a Japanese company, focused on the computer systems, before moving into consoles like the Sega Saturn. I.E., nothing westerners will have ever played. Their big contribution to gaming is creating the Novelware series, which were the first visual novels. Which is not the best contribution to have made.
The FM Towns, on the other hand, is a CD-based Japanese computer. Having never used a real one, I believe its sort of like an Amiga, but without a harddrive. If you've heard of it, you probably know it for the high quality versions of some graphical adventure games. Its basically known in the west for having nicer versions of western games, and its hard to disprove that when most of the titles that are listed online are, well, visual novels.

This is a lot of words for a game that amounts to a crude first-person shooter that I doubt anyone played even in its country of origin. Not even that, a rail shooter. Shoot at a bunch of things that are slowly approaching you and just don't die. Breaking up the monotony is your ability to get out of the way of enemies and avoiding running into walls, aided by a break button. The third stage changes things up by presenting you with choices in which direction you can go in, except that the choices are a lie. One way hurts you and the other doesn't. You have seemingly unlimited firepower, and must restore your slowly draining health by shooting enemies.

All the screenshots for this game look the same

It is not very interesting. It looks like an unfinished Doom level, or perhaps an very amateurish one. The music is very repetitive, and you can listen to it here. Not really going to go to the trouble of uploading it to Youtube for something I didn't really enjoy. I didn't get music, this might because the last time I tried using the emulator was one OS ago with many changes, or perhaps because I was playing a Windows emulator through WINE. I could listen to it as I played, by playing the CD in my music player. The instrumentation is nice, it just lacks substance.

Even discounting my distaste of the rail shooter genre, this seems poorly put together. Shots and enemies seem to ignore the walls, which I swear in motion look like something out of Outrun. There is just nothing much to talk about. There is no variation in anything, enemy sprites change between levels, but they're all the same in-level. I just expect more from one of the fancier systems like this one.

Generic weapon. 1/10

Generic enemies. 1/10


Endless flat areas. 0/10

Player Agency:
Sluggish, and the GUI is not very informative. 2/10


There's a very strange, underwater tone to the game, curious, but nothing impressive. 1/10

Everything is nice-looking, there just isn't much here. 2/10


Nice instrumentation, but nothing of substance. Sound is generic. 2/10

That's 9.

Is it worth the $9000 dollars you'd have to spent to get it? Hmm, that is a tough one, but I'm going to have to lean on the negative here.

Its the sort of thing that while I didn't care for it, it was enough of a non-entity that I'm not upset that I played it. Perfect for something opposite Star Cruiser. We'll see how far I can get across 1989 in the coming weeks alongside that game.

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